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UFC Tapout




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Everyone knows that a port is a port unless of course the port isn't a port. Confused, come inside for details and the review of the latest Xbox fighter.

For those of you who are not familiar with the sport of The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), it has been around since 1993. The sport that brings together the worlds most talented mixed martial artists, the original idea was to bring the various fighting disciplines together to determine which style is the best in the world. Fighters from around the world were called to compete in the tournament. Champions of the martial arts, and Olympic sports such as karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, boxing, pro wrestling, wrestling, sumo and street fighting have all competed over the course of the UFC 8 year existence and over 35 different PPV events.

The first UFC game was released almost a year ago for both the Playstation and the Dreamcast. While many people considered the Dreamcast version to be a great fighting game, there were just as many people who were deeply disappointed in the Playstation 1 version. Crave decided to go with 2 very different development teams for the title. The Dreamcast version had Crave employing the Japanese development team Anchor (the team behind the outstanding Tekken 2 for the PS1). Since that time, Anchor has moved on to be a THQ subsidiary, and is hard at work developing WWF games. For the next addition to the series Crave decided to go with Dreamfactory. If the name Dreamfactory sounds familiar to you, it should - the comany developed Tobal 2, which has since become a cult favorite among Playstation importers. They also have the arcade fighting game Ehrgeiz to their credit that was also released for the Playstation.

UFC Tapout feels like a direct port of the Dreamcast version. And for some people that may be enough to warrant a purchase. There really is only so much a company can do with the engine when the original development team leaves for another project. I have played the upcoming Pride FC extensively. In comparison, UFC Tapout feels dated and very limited in comparison to the Pride FC engine. But unfortunately Pride FC is not out yet and wont be for some while so that just leaves us with UFC Tapout in the meanwhile.

"...damage done in early rounds follows you through later rounds."

UFC Tapout offers several positions you may find your self in over the course of 3 5-minute rounds. Each position has its advantages and disadvantages. The key to victory in UFC Tapout is to know what they are. They are the standing position, lower guard, the upper guard, lower full mount, Upper full mount, the back mount, lower back mount, and finally the upper back mount.

The Standing Position:

Both opponents are standing. From this position, a huge variety of strikes can be launched or a fighter may shoot to a guard or mount position. Boxers and kickboxers and similar striking artists do their most damage in this position.

The Guard:

The guard position is characterized by the fighter on the bottom having his legs above the fighter's waist. The closed variation of this position means that both legs are completely extended beyond the waist, often locked behind the above fighter so that he cannot move to the full mount. The lower position is very popular for jiu-jitsu practitioners, particularly Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(such as Royce Gracie), since it allows for a variety of submissions including triangle chokes and armbars.

The Full Mount:

The fighter completely straddling the lower fighters body above or below the waist characterizes this position. From this position, the above fighter may sit up to deliver a variety of devastating strikes to the lower fighter. The upper position is the favored position of ground and pound stylists.

The Back Mount:

If you find yourself in this position you're in trouble. This is the most dominating position in grappling. From the upper position, the fighter is able to throw a number of strikes and submission attempts with few repercussions. As for the lower position, this is something that every fighter should avoid.

UFC Tapout is a great looking game. If there is any doubt, just take a gander at the fighter entrances. For a split second I thought I was looking at a video with the CG models on top of it. But it is not, its all generated in real time using the Xbox graphics chip. It's very impressive. The character models have been retouched since we last saw them on the Dreamcast. As impressive as the models were in the first UFC game, UFC Tapout's models put them to shame. Tattoos, facial and body hair are all done very well. The facial impressions as well as the animation for the different strikes, slams, and submissions are also well done.

Animation wise, it looks like they polished up what they had from the Dreamcast version and added a few new sets of animation. The frame rate stays at a rock solid 60 FPS, and everything looks much smoother and much nicer. UFC Tapout also features an in-ring referee which is the one that Pride FC does not feature. Another impressive aspect is that blood is very well done in this game. It stains the ring canvas and it flies off the opponent after you land a solid blow. This is adjustable so for those of you who are squeamish you don't have to look at the gore. If you are a fighting fan and if you are looking for a game to show off your new 300$ toy then you should definitely pick up UFC Tapout.

"UFC Tapout is a great looking game. "

The controls of UFC Tapout should be very similar to those who played the Dreamcast version. There really have not been many changes and for some it should feel like picking up a well-worn baseball glove. It just feels right. The right punch is performed by pressing B. The left punch is performed by pressing Y. Pressing A performs the right kick and the left kick is done by pressing the X button. To perform an alternate RP, LP, LK, RK you tap the left thumbstick towards the opponent while pressing the corresponding buttons. To shoot in and perform the take down you press A+B or X+Y. To escape from the take down you rotate the left thumbstick. To counter a take down you press X+Y or A+B. While in any of the ground positions. To perform a submission attempt you press either Y+X or B+A. To perform a punch grab counter to a head punch you press B+Y. To perform a body punch grab counter press A+X. To escape/counter the submission attempt on the lower body you press A+X to escape/counter the submission attempt on the upper body you press B+Y.

UFC Tapout has a variety of modes to keep players busy. The Arcade mode allows players a chance to choose their fighter and then fight a series of opponents, one after another in succession to advance. This is also the mode where players can unlock the hidden characters. Expect to see a few lady fighters and a certain rap star that was in the movie New Jack City. The UFC Mode is based on the 8 man tournaments that UFC would hold back early in its history. You choose the weight class, and then your fighter and then attempt to beat three opponents to become champion. However, unlike the Arcade mode, damage done in early rounds follows you through later rounds. The Create a fighter mode is not as extensive as I would like. However you will find it somewhat easy to recreate some of the UFC legends that did not make the games roster cut. Exhibition is a single fighter between 2 fighters. Which can either be played in 1 or 2 player mode. The mode keeps track of the win and losses for each fighter, so that friends can have bragging rights over each other.

Music and sound effects are what to be expected from the fighting game. The one thing that is annoying is the almost high squeal-like quality of the crowd when you land a solid blow to your opponent. That's being nitpicky, I know but it just annoyed me. The punches and kicks sound like there landing with force so you wont hear any complaints from me there. Particularly nice is the in ring introductions by Michael Buffer and the famous quote "Lets get it on" by the UFC Head ref.

UFC Tapout features over 30 fighters from the various fighting styles. Unfortunately, there really isn't one fighter that stands out and they all pretty much have the same generic moves. There are some exceptions but for the most part, Dreamfactory could have done a better job of giving each fighter their own personality. That could have been done in any number of ways. Either by giving each fighter specific move animations much like THQ does with its WWF games. A unique taunt per fighter or even before the match and during the intermission between rounds a verbal taunt.

Mike Regan
Prefers the full mount position.

UFC Tapout: The Scores













The Final Word:  Overall, UFC Tapout is a solid fighting game for the Xbox. Unfortunately, it is basically a port of a Dreamcast title. If you already own the Dreamcast version and you are waiting for the next great fighting game I would personally recommend to wait for Pride FC on the Playstation 2. For all others who have not yet played UFC on the Dreamcast, UFC Tapout is a great game but then again it should be the game that it was ported from was also a great game.

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